ARRABAWN CO-OP AND TIPPERARY CO-OP
A group of 16 managers from dairy processing co-ops including Arrabawn, Tipperary, Dairygold, Glanbia and Aurivo have become the first in Ireland to successfully complete a sophisticated new Management Development Programme.
The programme is designed exclusively for the Irish co-operative sector by ICOS Skillnet – the learning and development division of ICOS (Irish Co-operative Organisation Society).
The new management development programme stemmed from a working group which identified training needs across the sector, including industry-specific training interventions, developed by the industry for the industry, to enable business growth.
The ICOS Skillnet programme ties in closely with the objectives of Food Wise 2025 – the strategic plan for the agrifood sector which targets 85% export growth to €19 billion by 2025 and the creation of 23,000 new jobs over the period.
The programme also prioritises management development by co-operatives in line
with the Report on Future Skills Needs in the Food and Drink Sector which is necessary to achieving Food Wise 2025.
The co-operative sector is funding the initiative and owns the intellectual property for the programme which is also recognised and accredited through the Irish Institute of Training and Development. It mixes lectures and workshops with self-directed learning, covering leadership, influencing and delegation, change management, communications and assertiveness, performance management, conflict resolution, commercial awareness, time management and the importance of high quality HR practices.
Each participant in the Management Development Programme undertook a ‘DISC’ psychometric personal assessment test in advance to give them insights into how they handle or react to certain situations and scenarios in their business lives and careers.Whereas previous courses offered in the sector tended to be ‘function specific’, the individual participants in the new programme were from a wide range of occupations including Agri-Retail Branch Managers, Production Supervisors, Plant Managers, Accounts Managers, Mill Managers, Shift Managers, Site Managers, Sales Managers, Maintenance Supervisors and Payroll Administrators. This is designed to create a multi-disciplinary approach reflective of real organisational and business conditions.